2018 seasoned with success as South West acquires taste for international trade

Cotswold Taste
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and spices were the South West’s most popular food and drink exports last year
  • South West food and drink exports overall totalled £823.2 million in 2018
  • During the same period, food and drink exports to Singapore grew by 54%

Coffee, tea, cocoa and spices came out on top as the most popular food and drink exports from the South West in 2018, totalling £50.4 million.

The region’s total food and exports were valued at £823.2 million last year according to the latest HMRC figures.

The figures show that more firms in the region are targeting Singapore, with 54% more food and drink exported to the country during the period than in 2017. There was also a marked increase in appetite for South West produce in Australia (27% increase) and China (12% increase).

Two businesses that have experienced this uplift first hand are Shaftesbury-based Yuyo and Cotswold bakery, Huffkins. Yuyo, which produces Latin American-inspired organic drink infusions for hot and cold brews, saw exporting account for 40% of its total revenue last year. Meanwhile Huffkins bakery has capitalised on Australian demand, meeting new buyers at overseas trade shows.

Many food and drink businesses across the South West have been receiving support on their export journey from Food is GREAT, the cross departmental campaign between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to showcase UK food and drink overseas and to support firms to export.

South West food and drink producers were seeking further overseas trade ties at International Food & Drink Event (IFE) at the ExCel in London this week (17th-20th March). The local businesses, which included The Fine Cheese Co. and the Cornish Coconut Company, were given the opportunity to meet with overseas buyers at the show with support from the Food is GREAT campaign.

Food Minister David Rutley said: “Thanks to our world-renowned reputation for quality, welfare and taste, the UK is a key player on the global food and drink stage, exporting a record £22.5 billion of food and drink in 2018.

“It is fantastic to see producers in the South West seizing the opportunity to export to markets like Singapore and Australia, flying the flag for high quality British food and drink.”

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “UK food and drink is globally recognised for its quality. International demand for our local produce is soaring, particularly across Australia, Singapore and China, making now the perfect time to export.

“Many South West food and drink producers are beginning to export, breaking into new markets around the world and claiming international renown. We know that firms that export are more resilient, profitable and ultimately more successful.

“International opportunities are well and truly in reach for ambitious firms. We’ve got a team of dedicated international trade advisers to guide food and drink producers throughout the whole exporting process. I’d encourage businesses looking for support, whether it’s relating to international branding, overseas legislation or forging new international relationships, to get in touch.”

Firms looking for help on their export journey should contact 01275 370 944 or email DITsw@mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which lists a variety of live export opportunities, alongside general exporting and events information.